best foot forward
With social consciousness stitched into its DNA, footwear brand Hari Mari has a history of doing good. Ever since co-founders Jeremy and Lila Stewart started the company in 2012, they've helped kids around the world through their Flops Fighting Cancer initiative.
This fall, the Dallas-based brand is using the launch of a new collection to shine a light on another cause they are passionate about: truth and redemption in the criminal justice system. Hari Mari has chosen exonerated Greg Kelley as the face of a campaign for their new men's boot collection.
A former up-and-coming high-school athlete in the Austin area, Kelley spent seven years of combined prison and bond time after being wrongfully convicted of child sexual assault. He was exonerated and fully pardoned by the state in November 2019. Kelley is the subject of Showtime's documentary series Outcry.
"Over the years, freedom was something that hung in the balance for me," says Kelley in a press release for Hari Mari. "I've come to learn, when you're dealt a bad hand in a specific season of life, freedom is the most important thing. It's all I cared about when all else was stripped away."
To amplify Kelley's message of positivity, truth, and redemption, Hari Mari tapped Kelley and his wife, Gaebri, to model for a photoshoot and video featuring the new men's collection.
Best known for flip-flops, Hari Mari launched its first men's shoe collection to much fanfare last year. This fall, expanded offerings include boots, chukkas, and runners in new materials and colors. Two highlights from the collection, the Waxed CanyonTrek Chukka and Adobe Desert Boots, feature water-treated waxed suede with premium pig leather linings and molded OrthoLite foam footbeds.
Styles range from $120-$220 and are available at HariMari.com.
The Stewarts say that as fellow Texans, they've been inspired by Kelley’s perseverance, resilience, and character.
"[Having Kelley represent the brand] is an opportunity for us to continue to use Hari Mari as a catalyst for good," says Lila Stewart. "Of all the documentaries I've seen, I think I was most moved after watching Outcry. I couldn't stop thinking about it. Greg's story is one of hope and inspiration."
The Kelleys now reside in Michigan, where Greg is attending Eastern Michigan University on a full scholarship, fulfilling a lifelong dream of playing college football.
As with all the company sales, Hari Mari will donate 1 percent of every pair of shoes sold from the new collection to help those battling pediatric cancer, through Flops Fighting Cancer.